Myanmar Special Report: Fashion accessories is a special report focusing on suppliers with quality fashion accessory products who have not yet exported from the country. Featured enterprises include Daw Khin and Sons, Masterpiece Handicraft and Furniture and Su Mon. They offer umbrellas, handbags, fashion jewelry and footwear.
Industry overviewSuppliers of fashion accessories are looking to take advantage of a huge overseas potential for their products as most trade and economic sanctions against Myanmar are lifted.
Enterprises are broadening selections amid the anticipated rise in the number of foreign buyers sourcing from the country, particularly from the US and the EU. To make releases more appealing to potential clients, companies are combining traditional and modern detailing methods. They are also adopting native materials such as water hyacinth and bamboo to provide fresher takes on classic models.
|Myanmar fashion accessory industry overview||Competitive advantages||Challenges||Industry composition|
Production of fashion accessories, particularly handbags and umbrellas, is largely small-scale, with the majority of suppliers focusing on the domestic market. A handful of manufacturers are engaged in exporting, however.
Revenue specific to the line is not available as it is not considered a specific export segment. Fashion bags and umbrellas are categorized into miscellaneous goods. Income derived from this fragment reached $652 million in the current fiscal year from $184 million in the 2012-13 period.
The Asia-Pacific is the primary overseas destination. Most buyers in the region are from South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China. Other key markets are Germany, Sweden, Belgium, France and India.
The ready availability of plant-based materials is one of the sector’s major strengths. Water hyacinth, which is dried and woven into handbags, can be easily procured from vendors in Ayeyarwaddy region. Bamboo, which is used as ribs of umbrellas, can also be purchased there.
Another advantage possessed by the industry is low minimum wages. Pay rates in Myanmar are only between $50 and $60 per month, enabling enterprises to roll out affordable items. This also makes Myanmar attractive to businessmen who are looking for a cost-effective sourcing hub in the region amid spiraling salaries in major production centers such as China.
Acceptance of small orders is also strong suit of the line. Most enterprises accept an MOQ of 100 pieces. They also offer a variety of designs that will suit customers’ budget and needs.
One of the crucial difficulties affecting fashion accessories makers is the lack of design innovation. Because of the little knowledge in the latest fashion trends, the majority of releases come in basic and plain models. Trimmings are often limited to embroidery, and faux flowers and leaves.
Underdeveloped manufacturing processes resulting in low productivity is also a major concern. Most companies rely on simple hand tools and outdated machinery. As such, they cannot keep up with the high volume production of their foreign counterparts, particularly those from China and Vietnam. The absence of modern equipment is also preventing makers from handling large orders.
Enterprises also point to energy shortage as a stumbling block. Frequent outages, especially during the dry months of March to May, significantly reduce the production efficiency of factories. Moreover, unreliable power supply in the country, both for industrial and household use, keeps potential investors away.
The government does not track the official data on the number of fashion bag and umbrella manufacturers in Myanmar. There are, however, about 600 suppliers affiliated with the Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association, with some members also engaging in bags production.
Small enterprises account for the majority of the supplier base. They normally employ five to 10 personnel. Annual income is less than $50,000.
Midsize companies often have 25 to 50 staff members. Their revenue typically exceeds $50,000 per year.
Yangon is the primary sourcing hub for fashion accessories as it hosts a large pool of artisans and offers easy access to raw materials. Most suppliers also open showrooms in the city to cash in on the growing number of tourists there.
Models in this product category generally emphasize sustainability and aesthetics. Bamboo is widely utilized in umbrellas, while water hyacinth is mostly incorporated in handbags. Apart from providing uniqueness to selections, these materials are more economical than fabrics and can be easily procured domestically.
Manufacturers often apply eye-catching colors such as green, yellow, red and orange to enliven selections. An assortment of motifs, including floral and leaf, are employed to boost appearance.
All production steps, including material preparation, assembly and finishing, involved in making fashion accessories are done in-house. Most processes involved manual labor. QC is typically performed by owners before packing and shipping. Some enterprises, however, have up to five personnel to conduct spot checks.
Prices are largely determined by the type of component used, size and design complexity. Domestically made fashion accessories are mainly low-end and mid-range. Bamboo and paper are the top material options for basic releases of umbrella. Handbags are minimally trimmed and come in natural color. The use of bright shades, on the other hand, normally compensate for the lack of accents in several versions. Quotes are between $ and $5.
Midrange variants usually have wider open diameter for enhanced usability. Landscape themes are typically adopted in higher-value products. Customized motifs can also be applied. Prices typically exceed $5.
Fashion accessories price guide
|Price guide: Umbrellas|
|$2 to $10
Paper and bamboo; basic design; small
|$10 to $20
Paper and bamboo; silk trimmings; printed design; large
|More than $20
Silk, paper and bamboo; embroidered; large
|Price guide: Bamboo & water hyacinth handbags|
|$12 to $15
Handbags; bamboo or water hyacinth; basic design; small
|$15 to $35
Handbag; bamboo and water hyacinth; fabric lining; large
|More than $35
Handbag; bamboo and water hyacinth; fabric lining; printed or embroidered; large
Fashion accessory suppliers
Daw Khin and Sons
Daw Khin and Sons was established in 1962. It specializes in rattan, water hyacinth and bamboo products. The bestsellers are fashion bags, baskets and home accessories. Sampling takes two to four weeks, depending on design complexity. The company has a 2,400 sqm factory in Thanlyin town. All production steps are performed in-house.
|Daw Khin and Sons products|
Masterpiece Handicraft and Furniture
Masterpiece Handicraft has been manufacturing handicrafts for 16 years ago. It produces mainly fashion bags and footwear made of water hyacinth and bamboo. The export markets were Japan and Vietnam.
Natural materials are sourced from the Ayeyarwaddy state. All production processes are performed in-house. There are 50 employees capable of producing 500 handbags and 800 pairs of shoes every month. Four inspectors check all finished items.
|Masterpiece Handicraft and Furniture products|
Su Mon was established in 1998 and mainly produces garden umbrellas and other handicrafts. The company concentrates on the midrange segment.
Cotton, paper and bamboo are the primary materials used. All manufacturing steps are subcontracted to home-based artisans. There are 25 full-time employees. QC is conducted by three inspectors. The peak season is October to May.
|Su Mon products|
Myanmar Special Report: Fashion accessory suppliers
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|Suppliers featured on
||Supplier status||Handbags, fashion jewelry or footwear||Umbrellas|
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|Suppliers||Handbags, fashion jewelry or footwear||Umbrellas|
|Daw Khin and Sons Bamboo and Rattan||✓|